Last week the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) introduced a resolution in Congress demanding that the President stop all deportations of undocumented aliens who would qualify for citizenship under Senate Bill 744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill which passed that body last year. Meanwhile in Tijuana, Mexico sixty migrants were arrested in acts of civil disobedience as they attempted to cross in to the United States. The third group of protesters to attempt entry at the Otay Mesa crossing in a single week, activists at all levels have intensified a campaign against the Obama administration to reduce the record levels of deportations from this country.
The focus on pressuring the White House derives from realities facing these various groups of activists. They oppose the aggressive deportation policies of this administration which, over the last five years, has deported more individuals than any previous administration. This puts the White House and Congressional Democrats in a difficult position: on one hand, they succeeded in ushering S.B. 744 through the Senate after making several concessions to Senate Republicans to ensure strong support for the bill. Furthermore, in 2012, President Obama ordered the Homeland Security department to suspend any deportations of those children of undocumented individuals who would qualify for such relief had the DREAM act passed a few years ago.
Recognizing this pressure and expressing sympathy for the plight of these families broken up by deportations, President Obama ordered Homeland Security to report back to him with any proposals for further executive actions he could take without Congress to reduce or suspend deportations. The White House hopes this will, at least temporarily, satisfy the demands of Latino families complaining about deportations.
Some Democrats and other observers believe that these activists should focus their efforts on convincing Republicans to back comprehensive immigration reform. They note that several Republican congressmen and Senators now claim they cannot trust the President on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform because they do not believe he will enforce any new immigration law if passed. Republican lawmakers have cited extension of deadlines relating to the Affordable Care Act as well as the aforementioned 2012 directive to stop deportations of certain DREAMers as the basis for their suspicion.
In the meantime, it is critical, in the event that reform does become law that the immigration attorneys in this country be prepared for the new category of cases any new law is likely to generate. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain either citizenship or residency if a new system is enacted.